Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wind knots and ice in the guides

You would think that by the end of March we would be finished with dealing with ice in the guides although we expect some windy days this time of year.  Yesterday both the wind and the temperatures conspired to make fishing seem like an insane proposition.  With temperatures hovering around the freezing mark and winds from 25mph to 40mph, it was going to be tough fishing. But then again, such conditions have a way of insuring that you certainly experience a measure of solitude and there is something to be said for the sense of accomplishment when you get out there anyway, undaunted by the weather.  How else can you explain why some of us fish all winter long?

After getting rigged and suited up I decided that today the best tactic would be to swing a brace of wets through the likely holding spots and cover a lot of ground.  I quickly discovered the only problem with that plan was the fact that the wind was throwing a lot of leaves into the water and almost every drift required removing the leaves hooked on the swing and then there was the ice in the guides to deal with.  Nevertheless, I was quickly into fish so I stuck with it.  I fished a black bead head pheasant tail soft hackle on point with a hare’s ear soft hackle as a dropper.  The preference was for the hare’s ear but fish were taken on both flies. 

After about two hours in the cold wind, my hands were becoming unusable.  When the wind started really kicking up and bringing limbs down all around me, I called it quits and hiked back to the truck.  My hands had gotten so cold that I couldn’t release the clips on my wader suspenders.   It took about 10 minutes into the ride home before I could feel my fingers again but it was still fun to get out there and catch a frozen handful of browns and the odd rainbow fishing wets.


a brown and a rainbow willing to chase a wet fly on a cold windy day

12 comments:

  1. Way to brave the elements! We are heading out to the Swift this weekend. The forecast is actual calling for real spring weather on Saturday!

    Tight lines!

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    1. PTF - thanks. I really believe spring is on the way despite the weather yesterday

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  2. Good to see you we're rewarded for braving the elements Mark, surely spring won't be to far away for you now?

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    1. Thanks Brian. Spring is coming it's just that old man winter keeps chasing him off!

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  3. I feel the pleasure and the pain of this experience; I'm sure the first warm day of fishing will feel extra wonderful because of our winter outings.

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    1. I see from your blog that I wasn't the only nut case out yesterday! What is wrong with us?

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  4. Mark
    It takes a true fly fisherman to endure the kind of weather you encountered on this trip, but when you love fly fishing as much we all do, you will make sacrifices. Those are two beautiful browns, and I bet they were a lot of fun on the 3 wt.??? Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill thanks. I was fishing my longer TFO 4 wt. I really like it for fishing wets

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  5. Been giving the stockies a work out.
    I think I know the river.

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    1. Somebody has got to educate them before the white bucket crew shows up!

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    2. Very true. They'll be there in a few weeks.

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